A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal media, technology, advertising and startups.
Microsoft appears to be readying the formal launch of a Bing-branded daily deals website powered by white-label group buying platform service provider Tippr. This offering is notably different from Microsoft’s earlier launch of Bing Deals, which basically features links to aggregated deals from a number of partners. (TechCrunch)
The daily deal industry has jolted a formerly sleepy corner of the $30 billion online advertising market: the local part of the paid search marketing business. Local search ads that included references to towns and cities were not in demand until daily deal companies started paying handsomely to track down people interested in neighborhood goods and services. (Reuters)
Wal-Mart has struck a partnership with Facebook to help its 9 million fans on the social networking service connect with their local stores. The retailer is rolling out more than 3,500 Facebook pages that it says will enable customers to interact directly with their local store. (Los Angeles Times)
Groupon will no longer display how many vouchers consumers have purchased, in an attempt to make it more difficult to guess from the outside how well its business is doing. (AllThingsD)
Despite grumblings to the contrary, it turns out that consumers really do love daily deals and would sign up for more. According to a survey from Borrell Associates, 97% have printed coupons. Some 44% have signed up for four or more email lists and 91% said they were likely to register for more deals. (NetNewsCheck)
BiteHunter is launching a major upgrade to its iPhone app which includes integration with hundreds more dining deals sources including Yelp Deals, Groupon Now and LivingSocial Instant. The time-limited deals are featured within the app’s new “BiteNow” section, showing you discounted dining options while on the go. The best deals only appear for a few hours, then disappear. (TechCrunch)
My Virtual Neighbor is a neighborhood watchdog site, helping people to share information with those around them, and potentially prevent crime. It’s also a socializing site where neighbors can share common interests. (Social Times)